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DNA Tests Confirm Animal Killed in Utah was Federally Protected Wolf

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Utah authorities announced today that DNA tests confirm that the animal killed in a coyote snare last year was a federally protected gray wolf. And no charges will be filed…

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Last November the private trapper discovered the 89-pound female wolf dead in a neck snare he set. In 2014 a different coyote hunter killed another gray wolf, a young female affectionately nicknamed “Echo” in a worldwide naming contest.

Federal prosecutors wont charge either hunter because the coyote – an animal hunters may kill without a license or bag limit, and regardless of the season in Utah – was the intended target in both cases.

You see, the U.S. Justice Department’s McKittrick policy prohibits prosecuting individuals who kill endangered wildlife unless it can be PROVED that they knew they were targeting a protected animal. The toxic policy provides a loophole that has prevented criminal prosecution of dozens of individuals who killed grizzly bears, highly endangered California condors as well as dozens of critically endangered Mexican wolves.

So Utah’s war on coyotes has claimed the lives of two federally protected gray wolves within the past two years.

It’s the 21st century. Is it time to end the indiscriminate killing of coyotes and other predators? What say you?